Forget Boss Battles, PlayStation Defeats $500M Controller Patent Lawsuit

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Sony scored a big win in US District Court in a long running patent lawsuit, which has been ongoing since 2017. Genuine Enabling Technology claimed that Sony was infringing on its ‘730 patent,” Method and Apparatus for Producing a Combined Data Stream and Recovering Therefrom the Respective User Input Stream and at Least One Input Signal.” Genuine Enabling Technology was looking to get $500 million in damages from Sony.

Genuine Enabling Technology’s core argument is that it’s not possible for Sony’s consoles and controllers to communicate with one another without the solution found in its patent. The patent details how button inputs can be sent with a “slow-varying” frequency signal, while motion control input can be sent using a high frequency signal.

Sony defended itself by arguing that Genuine Enabling Technology didn’t have enough evidence to prove its claims. Sony stated that the components in its controllers responsible for communication weren’t “structurally equivalent” to the diagrams present in the patent.

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Ultimately, the judge agreed with Sony, releasing a Memorandum Opinion in favor the company. According to the judge, Genuine Enabling Technology “failed to raise a dispute of fact.” With this finding the judge issued a summary judgement of non-infringement in favor of Sony. The case was also declared closed by the judge.

While Genuine Enabling Technology came up short in this particular case, it still has a lawsuit against Nintendo working its way through the courts that it filed back in 2020. That case is currently ongoing after the US Court of Appeals reversed a decision in Nintendo’s favor in 2022. So, it’s likely Genuine Enabling Technology isn’t going to give up trying to enforce its patent.